Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Diana's Story

Hi! My name is Diana and I have PH. Although my numbers are low (27 at rest), I knew after attending the PH conference this summer and speaking to other PHers I was a member. Funny thing is I felt relieved as I had been going to different cardiac doctors telling them I was feeling worse not better.

Finally I went back to a family doctor who had "guaranteed" that I wouldn't have any heart troubles for five years... advising I could "do anything" as far as exercise was concerned. Little more than a year later I had a pericardectomy, (removal of the pericardium aka "sack" around your heart. Going back to the doctor turned out to be the smartest thing I could have done as he sent me to another cardiologist who diagnosed my pulmonary hypertension through the echo, which if you are reading this as an informed person is not considered a means for PH diagnosis.

As the cardiologist's nurse gave me the diagnosis over the phone ( I never heard of pulmonary hypertension before then), I got on the internet and having the blank scared out of me is an understatement!

So, I packed a suitcase and traveled to the conference to "see what I was in store" for. No ticket for the conference, not even sure if I'd be allowed in...but I knew I'd find someone who'd speak to me, even if I had to stand outside the hotel and wait for people to leave!

Thank God I didn't have to go to such extremes! I slept in my car the first night before the conference after driving alone to Houston, Texas from Fayetteville, Arkansas for the first time. (I had to conserve my money as I wanted to get into the seminar if allowed! Remember I had just been told earlier in the week!)

I met some wonderful people and got help with a room for the next 2 nights and learned more than I could have for years on the internet! Found a good , no great doctor, and have traveled twice out of state to see him!

Although it is sad I have been diagnosed with PH, I feel lucky to have gotten diagnosed as soon as I have so maybe I can limit the damage to my heart.

People have said my story is so unbelievable, yet its true. My dr. says I have arterial changes and I will be looking at a lung transplant which scares me, but I will do whatever I have to to give the example to my 4 children..."don't ever give up!" It has taken me all summer and into the fall to come to this conclusion, but it is what I want to leave for a legacy!

God bless you all!



Nancy said...

Diana, I got chills reading about your determination. I am glad that you were able to attend the conference (this year was my first time attending, too, and it will not be the last time) and that you were able to find a great PH doctor. Best wishes with your PH treatment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nancy, thank you for your comment! Was wondering about your PH story...perhaps when I continue down the blog I will find it. If not please share your story with me...how long you have had PH, what treatment you have been having and if it is primary or secondary. Oh, I hope not to miss seeing you at the next conference! Take care!

Annette Markin said...

Diana, I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet you at conference! It was actually my second one! Thank you so much for sharing your story! If you want to read mine you can go to:

Thanks for sharing.
a phriend